Saturday Oct 16, 2021

The old wise man of the forest

Not long ago in a distant land I met this wise old man who came from a very distant place. A majestic man by external appearances. Silver gray hair and matching beard, 6ft. 2 with eyes of a piercing blue. The weathered look on his face showed years of overcoming struggles to survive. And yet there was an eerie inner peace that seemed to glow every time he smiled.

So fortunate was I to have encountered this wandering minstrel of worldly knowledge and experience. The days we spent in those woods back then I had wished they would never end. But, somehow I knew we had to part. The knowledge I gained and the lessons I learned have served me well ever since. Although he never told me his name, only that he came from a very distant place. A place where life was full of goodness and virtue. Somehow I knew by the worried face that showed the anguish and torment of the seasons that he passed wandering from one place to another why he chose the solitude of the forest.

With no tools to speak of his wits alone, this wise old man of the forest taught me the value of life and how the goodness of man can be humbled to overcome adversity. How benevolence can restore compassion and empathy for all living things. But somehow, from the strange expression on his face when he spoke of these things, I knew that my world has yet to realize and practice the goodness and virtuous side of man. Only the dark side of contempt, jealousy, and hatred have only made our world more hostile and volatile.

Now, many years have passed since I wandered with that old sage of the woods. I have seen that humanity has withered and decayed more with each passing year. The knowledge that I acquired so many years ago has only increased my determination to try to teach people what that wise old man taught me. However, frustration has only encouraged me to persevere. But many times many are unwilling to accept their character flaws. Defects that have only consolidated a combative attitude towards the acceptance of any change that benefits not only them but also the whole of society.

Since then I have seen this in the halls of government lately, where elected officials in their lust for power, wealth, and control have outstripped their actions. Actions that continue to deny the goodness and virtuous side of humanity to rise above and extinguish the obstruction that prohibits humanity from fostering empathy, compassion and benevolence towards all living beings. The consequences of their actions continue to have far-reaching effects on the diminished quality of life. The really ironic sad reality today is that many simply cannot disappear into the forest and survive like that wise old man. Society has evolved in some ways. But, in many other ways, we have regressed as a society. Now much of our existence depends on materialism. A society that has now transformed the individualism and self-sufficiency that we had more than 150 years ago in dependence.

When society becomes dependent on a government that is clearly indifferent to its needs as we see today, that society can no longer hold a neutral stance towards false policies. Policies that continue to keep our society trapped in a quagmire of continuous crisis. And, this is how today what that old man taught me many years ago has put himself at the forefront of society’s conscience. We have to realize that we can really overcome the adverse effects of the lack of empathy our government has shown towards its citizens. And when we do, society can truly evolve into a brighter and more compassionate future.

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